FARMERS and the agricultural sector in Wiltshire only have hours left to submit their nominations for this year's South West Farmers Awards.

Now in their fourth year, the awards give the farming industry in the West Country a chance to stand up and be recognised.

With an emphasis on future and forward thinking farmers, the awards are supported by industry experts.

They give local farmers, suppliers, breeders and everyone involved in the industry the recognition they deserve for the tremendous work they do throughout the year.

Have you, or do you know someone in farming who has given 100 per cent and achieved great things this year? Or someone who has made a difference to the face of farming this year?

Nominations for the Awards close today, Friday June 21. Nominate here:

The 2019 South West Farmers Awards will be presented at the Somerset County Cricket Ground on Thursday, November 7, from 6:30pm.

For details on ticket sales and nominations please call 01326 213 322.

The awards categories are as follows:

Farm Manager of the Year

Sponsored by Farming Community Network

Managing a farm or estate for a business or an individual has become more challenging over the years, with volatility now a part of everyday life and a rapidly changing agricultural landscape, just two of the issues to be managed. The successful winner of the Employed Farm Manager of the Year category will need to demonstrate how they manage, develop and motivate staff on farm to see the opportunities that exist in this changing landscape. The successful farm manager will have excellent financial, operational and people management skills. Our winner will also need to demonstrate the ability to identify opportunities, appraise and measure performance and to develop, innovate and improve operating systems. Someone who can plan, evaluate and adjust strategies to deliver profitable and sustainable farm businesses and who is able to manage risk and develop new ways to deal with traditional farming issues. Perhaps you have developed or supported a new discussion group, identified new training requirements for your team or identified a new market opportunity for your business. The ability to deliver day in/day out and to bring together all elements and to get the best out of their team will be key to securing the title of Employed Farm Manager of the year.

Sheep Farmer of the Year

Sponsored by Rumenco

This award recognises the skills of a Sheep Farmer who has demonstrated a comprehensive approach to the management of their flock which includes consideration of the breeding programme, selection of rams, parasitic control, grassland management, rationing protocols and measures of performance. In addition, they will have a clear understanding of their costs, a marketing approach to selling their animals and a strategy for the future development of the business. The business will also be able to demonstrate/refer to external advice and services used to support the business.

Young Farmer of the Year

Sponsored by Coodes

Being creative, innovative and forward thinking are strong qualities in Young Farmers and this category aims to recognise and reward those who have achieved positive results from new ideas and changes. This can be anything from new ways to increase productivity, diversification or making a positive impact on their local area.

Outstanding Achievement

This category is open to nominations for those demonstrating an outstanding achievement in the agricultural industry. We want to recognise individuals who have made a significant

contribution to farming and can evidence this with proven success. For example, you may know someone who has a highly successful business and deserves to be recognised for their innovations and achievements. Alternatively, it may be somebody who is forward thinking and has seen positive results by demonstrating the very best in farming practices?

Beef Farmer of the Year

Sponsored by NSF

This award recognises the skills of a beef farmer who has a clear and progressive business plan and has in place programmes and policies for the management of health livestock for breeding, rearing and finishing, coupled with a strong grassland and forage management strategy. The business will also demonstrate a well-defined marketing approach, with added value a key component clearly evident. The use of professional advice and services should also be obvious.

Dairy Farmer of the Year

Sponsored by Greenslade Taylor Hunt

We are looking for a dairy farmer that can fulfil the following criteria; a forward looking farmer who - knows where he/she wants to be in 5-10 years and how they are going to get there and who looks to innovation to help bring these objectives to life. We want to see evidence of thinking outside the box in terms of dairying and farming in general. Our winner will understand the importance they play as Dairy farmers in their community and the wider reach.

Family-run Farm of the Year

Sponsored by Mole Valley

We want to recognise the families who are the heart of farming around the region. As a family unit through generations, you will have developed a sustainable business, securing your family’s place in south west farming for years to come. You will have kept with family traditions, but also created new ways of farming which allow you to compete in a changing environment. You will credit your team work as a unit as pivotal to your success.

Mixed Farmer of the Year

This award will identify a produce farmer who can demonstrate a clear vision for the future with a management strategy for the business, which incorporates a detailed understanding of costs and an investment plan. The category winner will need to define how they have managed resources and delivered efficiencies to the business and improved quality and profit. The business will also demonstrate a marketing approach which considers different elements of the supply chain and can demonstrate how they are helping to protect the environment, through participation in recognised environmental schemes.

Diversification of the Year

Sponsored by Cornish Mutual

This category is open to people who are working to create a more diverse environment and to improve and enhance the countryside, with consequent benefits to wildlife, while farming their land in an effective and progressive way and maintaining a viable business. Judges are likely to be interested in such aspects of farm/land management as running environmentally-based schemes (for example sustainable tree planting, traditional hay meadows) and also educational initiatives. Entrants may also highlight examples of collaborative projects involving outside organisations, including bodies which provide funding for environmental improvements.